WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Lacy to return to Packer line-up Oct. 6
GREEN BAY - After missing a game-and-a-half with a concussion, Packers' running back Eddie Lacy expects to be back on the field for Green Bay's next game against Detroit on Oct. 6.
The rookie starter has not yet passed the NFL's protocol for returning after a concussion. Lacy was injured on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Washington's Brandon Meriweather on September 15th. Lacy said yesterday he didn't know where he was immediately after the hit -- but he feels a lot better now. In Lacy's absence, the Packers moved up to 10th in the NFL in total rushing. That's after James Starks ran for 132 yards against Washington, and rookie Johnathan Franklin rushed for 103 yards in last Sunday's loss at Cincinnati. Both Starks and Franklin were injured in that game. The Packers have a bye this week, with time to get over their aches and pains. They'll return to practice next week to get ready for the Lions.
University of Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen says the Badgers will play the same type of defense regardless of who's at quarterback for Ohio State on Saturday night. Heisman Trophy finalist Braxton Miller is expected to return, after he missed most of the last three games with a sprained MCL knee ligament. Kenny Guiton has done a yeoman's job filling in. He has completed two-thirds of his passes for seven touchdowns and one interception. Andersen says both are good quarterbacks, and the Badgers won't change their approach regardless of which player is in. Wisconsin has played solid defense so far. They held Purdue to 180 total yards last week -- 76 on the ground -- in the Badgers' 41-10 home rout of the Boilermakers.
Tyler Thornburg will try to keep great string of starts going for the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, when they play the Braves in Atlanta. Thornburg, a rookie right-hander, has a 1.52 ERA in a half-dozen starts since moving from the bullpen. He has gone six innings in each of those appearances -- including last Wednesday night, when he threw six scoreless frames and giving up just two hits in a 7-0 home rout of the Chicago Cubs. Thornburg is 3-1 overall this season, with a 1.96 ERA. The Braves are sending veteran Freddy Garcia to the mound. He was traded to Atlanta in mid-August for the stretch run and the playoffs -- and he's 1-2 since coming to the National League with a 1.31 ERA in five starts. All those starts came against fellow National League East opponents. Garcia is 4-7 on the year, with an ERA of just over four-and-a-half. Atlanta has clinched the East but has struggled this month, winning just 7-of-18 games after September third. With six games left, the Brewers are now five-and-a-half ahead of last-place Chicago -- and it appears that the Crew will avoid the division cellar.
Ryan Kusilek of UW-River Falls, Andrew Keister of Whitewater, and Zach Litchfield of Platteville are the WIAC football players-of-the-week. Kusilek, a sophomore quarterback, set a River Falls school-record with 479 yards of total offense in a one-point loss to Simpson. Kusilek threw for 344 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for 135 yards and another score. Keister, a senior defensive back, recovered a fumble and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown in a 55-14 Whitewater rout at Buffalo State. Litchfield, a senior kicker was 9-for-9 in extra points in Platteville's 63-34 win at Lewis-and-Clark in Oregon. The WIAC also recognized Jan Nachtigall of Oshkosh and Kyle Sundby of Whitewater in men's soccer -- Chelsea Kierszh of Oshkosh and Jessica Allemang of Whitewater in women's soccer -- McKenzie Paul of Oshkosh in women's golf -- Megan Humphreys of Whitewater in women's singles tennis -- Kimmy Mrozek and Bryanne Blanton of La Crosse in doubles' tennis -- and Lisa Keppers of River Falls in volleyball.
Beloit College running back Mason Dixon has been named the Midwest Conference football player-of-the-week on offense. Dixon, a freshman, ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns in Beloit's 38-21 win over Lawrence. Brian Flanagan of Beloit is the league's honored player on defense. Flanagan, a senior defensive end, had four-and-a-half sacks against Lawrence -- the third-highest in a game in Beloit's history. Kicker-and-punter Jon Gurchak of Lake Forest is the top special teams' player for the week.
Four UW-La Crosse standouts will be inducted into the school’s Wall-of-Fame. Football defensive lineman Phil Ertl is being honored along with cross country and track runner Greg Barczak, indoor field athlete Patti Franckowiak Krautscheid, and swimmer Laura Waterhouse Ball. In addition, Dave and Barb Skogen are receiving the Donald Gordon Merit Award as supporters of the La Crosse athletic program. They’ll all be honored on October sixth during a brunch on the La Crosse campus.
The Marquette University women's soccer team blanked UW-Milwaukee 5-0 last night. Maegan Kelly had one goal and one assist. She broke Marquette's all-time record for career assists with 34, passing Regina Sekyra. Milwaukee has not beaten Marquette for five years in their annual match. The Golden Eagles are 4-0-1 in that crosstown series. And they're 7-3 overall, after winning six-of-their-last-seven. UWM dropped to 2-7-1.
Sam Krenzien of UW-Green Bay is the Horizon League men's soccer player-of-the-week on offense. The senior forward had two goals and two assists in a tie with Eastern Illinois, and the game-winning goal for Green Bay against the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Andrew Putna of Illinois-Chicago received the league honors on defense. In women's soccer, Milwaukee forward Kelly Lewers received the top award on offense. Lewers, a junior, scored the game-winning goal against Illinois State -- and she had an assist in that contest. Alyssa Riley of Detroit was the defensive player-of-the-week. Also, the Horizon League honored Howard Scott of Green Bay in men's tennis.
Cody Lemke of Lakeland College in Sheboygan is the football defensive player-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. Lemke, a senior defensive back, forced a fumble and had two tackles for losses in Lakeland's 21-20 come-from-behind win over Alma. He also had a career-high 17 tackles. Blake Anders of Benedictine won the weekly honors on offense. Punter R.J. Bain of Benedictine was named the top special teams' player. The NACC also recognized Stephen Gilbert and Tori Fortney, both of Edgewood, in soccer -- Nina Puch of Concordia-Mequon in women's golf -- Lynn Pipke of Lakeland in women's tennis -- and Trevor Koziczkowski of the Milwaukee School of Engineering in men's cross country.
Eight athletes will be inducted into the UW-Stevens Point Hall-of-Fame. They'll be honored at the Pointers' homecoming game against River Falls on October fifth. The induction ceremony will take place that evening. All-American quarterback Scott Krause heads the group. He was the WIAC's player-of-the-year in 2003 with a school-record pass completion percentage of just over 66. Krause was also a finalist that year for the Gagliardi Trophy, Division-Three's equivalent of the Heisman. Other Stevens Point athletes to be enshrined are two-time national champion Jessie Bushman Anderson in track, men's basketball standout Brant Bailey, and softball infielder Kelly Rutta Erickson. Other new Hall-of-Famers are Kelly Fink and Abby Rabinovitz Richter in women's soccer, Ryan Jones in baseball, Jessica Ott in women's basketball,